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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  October 19, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm EDT

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thanks as always for your comments. i do appreciate them. thank you for joining me today. i'm carol costello. cnn "newsroom" continues now with ashleigh banfield. >> we begin with carnage and chaos. breaking news in the heart of lebanon's largest city and its capital, beirut. a large and deadly explosion happening in the middle of rush hour there. a car bomb apparently the weapon. it was apparently detonated in the city's center, right around one of the main squares. at least eight people dying. you can see the pictures filing into cnn. scenes like this playing out at this moment. rows of mangled cars, charred buildings, people trying to rescue, ambulances rushing to help dozens of those injured victims. stay with us as we continue to process the information from this breaks news story. we'll have developments throughout the day right here on cnn. and another very big story we're
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continuing to watch develop, a remarkable new report out of benghazi about a man that witnesses insist the was the ring leader in the attack that killed our ambassador and three diplomats, yet a man that has yet to be arrested, yet to even be questioned in those murders. and to add insult to injury, this is a man who talked to a reporter while sipping on a strawberry frappe on a patio in libya, scoffing at our president's attempts to find those responsible and bring them to justice. >> we will not waver in our commitment to see justice is done for this table act. >> the president may be hell bent on serving up justice to those cold blooded killers but if that's the case, why is it that more than a month after the attack we've got pictures to show you like this suspect posing outside of our diplomatic mission. could you recognize that face holding on to an a.k., possibly
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while ambassador stevens lay dying inside. we have no word if he's been charged or is even in custody but he sure looks proud. then there's this guy holding up the peace sign, many on the scene photographed by cell phone. this is the scene of a crime. these are pictures at the scene of a crime. the u.s. mission still on fire while this is going on. where are these men? have they been questioned? are they in custody? do we know anything about them? who was their leader? one person who may know something about this is the reporter who was breaking this story, david kirkpatrick, he sat down with the suspected ring leader having the frappe. he joins us over the phone from benghazi, libya. i was just sastounded by your report. does the suspect admit he had anything to do with the murders and the attacks?
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>> reporter: no, he said he was on the scene and arrived after the shooting had begun and was basically trying to break up a traffic jam. he said he had nothing to do with any acts of aggression that night. he's only suspected of being one of the ring leaders, not a mastermind of the whole attack. >> what does he say when asked about our attempts to find those responsible? we just showed our audience pictures, very identifiable, of those posing outside the crime scene. how does he feel about our efforts and even the libyan government's efforts, for that matter, to bring people to justice? >> well, i think he correctly feels like the libyan government right now, the transitional government is pretty impotent. they don't have much of a national army or police force. he referred to it as the national chicken. when i asked him who should be responsible for tracking down the criminals behind it in libya, that's mostly been militias like his own that do the work of law enforcement. i said who should be in charge
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of solving this crime? and he sort of smirked and said, well, the state. we both know the libyan state right now is completely incapable of that. i think he feels a certain amount of impunity walking around the state of benghazi. >> and yet you report there are so many witnesses up and down who say this is the guy, if not the key guy. tell me about his story. this is a huge story in america right now. it's working its way into the political debate in the presidential election as to whether this was a spontaneous attack that was borne of the anger and protest about that awful film or whether this was a planned al qaeda attack. what does he say about that? >> reporter: by the way, way, ww the answer to that question and it's very simple. it's a planned attack, planned over the course of a couple of hours in response to the violent film. his account is that there was a protest over the film that he
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joined later trying to sort of break it up, that he later went into the compound to help rescue some libyan guards who were trapped there. i should say i don't find his account of his own presence there to be particularly convincing. it doesn't mesh with many other witnesses i've talked to. guards were inside the compound, as well as others who watched from the outside. >> doesn't he say something along the lines of this was a peaceful protest, the guards fired on them first and then they just accidentally found their weapons inside the compound and picked them up and started firing? >> no, that's not what he says. he does say that the shooting started with the guards unsiins the compound, firing on peaceful demonstrator outside. then he said militia men fired into the air to disperse the crowd. he said at some point the people outside attacked the mission, there's no doubt about that and he doesn't deny it.
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but he add when is it was all done and the americans were chased out of the compound, he asserts, without any evidence, that the attackers found weapons, guns with silencers and explosives inside the compound. he was trying to assert it wasn't just a diplomatic compound, it was a center of sub version or espionage. >> so the weapons he's saying they found, he's not suggests they were using them and then posing with them. he said this was no diplomatic mission, is that it? >> reporter: you have to keep in mind there are lots of little militias and big militias with plenty of a.k.-47s. it's not that hard to muster those things up and stage an attack like this. >> david, great reporting live in libya for us, in benghazi as a matter of fact. stay safe as you navigate there.
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so this question remains, who knew what? if there is someone who does know, is anyone being held accountable at this point? and woor ewe in the investigative process? do we deserve to know or does this have to be carried out in secret. ambassador burns, you just heard what david kirkpatrick was reporting, the access he had to this supposed ring lead eeleade two of them were sipping a frappe. there were plenty of witnesses who spoke with david swearing he was one of the ring leaders. how on earth is he not in custody? >> that's the responsibility of the libyan authorities. the united states does not have any capacity to arrest people or act as a police force.
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the libyan force is sovereign. the problem is libya after gadhafi does not have a strong national police force or army. it's replete with militias. that's the environment in which our diplomats have to work and protect themselves in tripoli as well other places. >> mr. ambassador, are you telling me these new libyans in control are akin to keystone cops or are you telling me these libyans don't give a damn what we want? >> i didn't say either of those things. the libyan authorities are quite friendly with the united states. they had free and fair elections last summer, a moderate group of people were elected. the problem is in libya, as well as egypt and tunisia, these moderate governments are being assaulted by much more radical forces, some of them armed. i do think you ought to focus your attention now on the libyan authorities and what they need
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to do to bring these killers to justice. >> i don't understand this. i mean, if we have david kirkpatrick of the "new york times" sitting down with a guy who has witnesses saying he's responsible and there's no one in libya who can muster some sort of negotiating process between the varying militias there to bring him in for even questioning, just questioning. he hasn't been questioned yet. that to me says keystone cops or we don't care. i don't know where the ground is in between. explain it. >> well, listen, i can't explain everything that's happening in libya, ashleigh, i'm not there. but i will say this, it is the responsibility of the libyan government to marshall enough strength and to take down some of these militias and disarm them in order to reassert control over their own country. that's nm one. number two, president obama said the morning after the attacks that he would pursue justice and the united states would try to bring these people to justice and i think the president has a very impressive record of going after terrorist groups,
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specifically al qaeda on the afghan/pakistan border, also in yemen. i think the united states government obviously wants to do the right thing here and is intending to do that but it's a very difficult situation where in effect the libyan government and the united states are operating in a lawless environment in libya itself. >> okay. so then the libyan national congress told us a couple of weeks ago that they had 50 people in custody that they were asking questions, they were investigating and then we never heard a word after that. should we expect to hear a word? should we expect to ever have follow up on that? or is this the kind of process where we are on a need-to-know basis and we are not supposed to know what's going on? in fact, there's so many diplomatic sensitivity here, it would be damaging if we knew what's going on. >> i don't think that's the case at all. the united states government and
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the american people have a right to know what happened in benz and those answers have to come from libya. also of course from those vetting this attack. but i think, ashleigh, this whole situation has been overly politicized. the real issues are here, there's it would have them -- how can we defend our embassies against any further possible attacks and for that we need full funding from both republicans and democrats in the congress for embassy security. that's number one. and number two, we have to find out what went wrong that night in benghazi and secretary clinton has appropriate lip ordered a review of that evening and embassy security. i think that's where our focus should be on, not on these ancillary questions. these issues are being politicized in a presidential campaign. as someone who served in both democratic and republican campaigns, i find that distaste approximately. >> without question but do you have to admit it is so offensive
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to see people like this thumbing their noses at us at a time when we have four murders we need to be vebting and prosecuting. >> i agree with you. when i read that "new york times" report, i was furious that this libya militia person, who seemed to be very cavalier in talking about the murders of our diplomats. would i urge you to consider this is not the direct responsibility of the united states government. this is the responsibility of the libyan government. the united states government doesn't have any representative in benghazi right now because the consulate has been closed following the terrorist attacks. we have our embassy in tripoli of course. i really think rather than point responsibility for this at the obama administration, we ought to be a asking the libyan government to do more. >> heck, yeah. this is a government that we facilitated to say the very least.
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ambassador burns, thank you. i do appreciate your insight. >> this is going to be a huge topic of discussion more than likely on monday's final presidential debate. 7:00 eastern we're going to start our coverage on monday night. this debate is in boca raton on monday night. again, the final presidential debate. made for people with diabetes. that's why there's glucerna hunger smart shakes. they have carb steady, with carbs that digest slowly to help minimize blood sugar spikes. and they have six grams of sugars. with fifteen grams of protein to help manage hunger... look who's getting smart about her weight. [ male announcer ] glucerna hunger smart. a smart way to help manage hunger and diabetes.
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my meineke. an iconic institution for boys, the boy scouts, is struggling under a cloud of horrendous accusations, accusations that come from within. a release of internal files naming more than a thousand male scoutmasters and volunteers who the organization believed were sexually abusing young scouts. it is no doubt on the minds of thousands of parents who as we speak may be gearing up for weekend camping trips or weekend activities for their scout sons. amid these troubling documents there are fears and yet there are mixed emotions. after all, the scouts have forever been an esteemed
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organization, helping millions of boys become great men. look at some of the american the boy scouts have turned out. astronaut neil armstrong, michael bloomberg, stephen breyer, steven spielberg, michael ford. along with our scouts, president bill clinton, george bush, barack obama. and gerald ford. it just makes the release of the thousands of pages of internal documents all the more difficult to process. >> reporter: one of the newly released files shows an indiana scout leader was placed in the banned confidential file in the early 1970s. he took treatment and on the advice of the psychiatrist treating him and his minister, he was allegedly cured. he got cleared to lead scouts given and again and in 1982 he was accused
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of molesting two boys on a camp trip. the boys parents agreed not to proceed with prosecution and the scouts never reported the alleged pedophile to the police. >> there's no question times in the past where we did not do the job that we should have. so for that we're profoundly sorry. i am convinced this organization has a firm and ever lasting and deep commitment to youth protection. >> reporter: the bsa says scouts are now talked to recognize and report abuse and two scouts are at all activities, preventing one-on-one situations between leaders and scouts. in some cases there was intimidation. a scout leader disrobed after cornering a boy who was undressing and warned the boy to stay quiet. what i'm going to do now, if i get arrested after i get out of jail, i'll come after you and
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your family. >> we can learn a lot about the way pedophiles operate. it's consistent, it's almost always somebody that's the pied piper. >> reporter: clark says those pied piper popular style leaders are rampant in the perversion files. now lawyers for abuse victims are trying to get more names of alleged pedifiepedophiles, in s cases suing to get the confidential files made public. and they are calling on congress to audit to see whether the abuse system is working. >> you just heard paul's report. that is obvious that this is not over, not by a long shot. those names are out there. the impact on the organization and the communities across the country, just potentially huge.
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was your son's scout leader on that list? was your next door neighbor on that list? a teacher maybe? the lawsuits are undoubtedly going to fly as attorneys get those names and start calling for the release of more, more names, more documents, more evidence. defense attorney joey jackson joining me to talk about this. there are some reports out already that prosecutors are combing these documents and looking for perpetrators so that they can start mounting cases, before they even get a complaint. >> ashleigh, this is shocking to the core. now, to be sure the boy scouts has done some wonderful things, but this there has to be accountability and i think they're going to get it in three primary ways, the first of which you mentioned. criminal prosecution. now statutes vary across the country regarding when there could be prosecutions for child abuse cases. in some jurisdiction, there is not statute of limitations. of course we talked about
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sandusky. it's wh we're going to see files released in the future. >> 85 to present. >> and the second measure will be civil liability, in the event the statute of limitations hasn't run on that, victims will be looking for compensation for the heinous acts committed against them and the boy scouts are going to institute measures so this cannot happen again. and they've already talked about having two adults present with any given child, they've talked about limiting any contact that one adult has with a child and of course opening it up so that all parents are permitted to be involved in these activities. this is horrific. >> when we talk about statute of limitations, i'm sure a lot of people are talking about what do you mean? we don't have statute of limitations on murder, why would there be statute of limitations on kids? you said 1965. that is a long time ago, memories fade, people die,
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evidence disappears. how hard would it be to prosecute something in those first say 20 years? >> first things first. m terms of the statute of limitations, the law says there has to be some time frame in which a person is brought to justice. in many jurisdictions they're eliminating statutes of limitations when it comes to heinous child offenses. in connecticut there's an elimination that and georgia. if you can establish a heinous act against a child, there is no statute of limitations. establishing evidence is tough but there are these files. we man in them are names, information, witnesses. clearly are the witnesses available, did their memory fade? people do need to be brought to justice here. >> let's talk about victims, if there are victims named in these files and alleged perpetrators
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named in the file, are you forcing that kid to come and testify now that that kid is an adult? >> you certainly want voluntary cooperation and people who have the memories, psychologists say they don't want to talk about it. in some instances wives and husbands doesn't know about it because they don't want to bring it up so it's a really difficult thing. i'm sure prosecutors will talk to them and seek to get them to help others if not themselves. >> the boy scouts is not a rich organization. we're not talking about penn state here. we're talking about the boy scouts. do they get a mass settlement ready for the class action suit that is possibly going to come their way? >> right now their lawyers are advising them to do that. i think what's in their interest is to move forward, not backward. i think what would be very important here is to get the money ready, get a settlement similar to penn state so that people get the compensation that they'll be demanding and that
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they deserve. >> it's just so sad because we started this segment by showing the remarkable people that the boy scouts turn out on a regular basis and then there's this and it just leaves you so much sunk i don't know. >> it really does. >> stick around, i've got lots more to ask you, particularly about penn state. we have some developments there. by the way, of the more than 1,200 files that were released yesterday, the boy scouts have an answer to some of this. they said local police were involved in nearly two-thirds of the cases within those files. the other one third went mostly unreported. people have doubts about taking aspirin for pain.
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campaigns can require a lot of wardrobe changes. blue jeans in the morning perhaps, suits for a lunch fund-raiser, sport coat for dinner. but it's nice to finally relax and wear what ann and i wear around the house. >> i went shopping at some stores in midtown. i understand governor romney went shopping for some stores in midtown. >> awesome and funny and light
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and you know what, a really good break from what's been going on on the campaign trail. that was the alfred e. smith dinner in new york city, big charity fund-raiser. it's a tradition where the guys get together and they don't spar. we've been at it for a while, the campaign trail has been ugly. those debates have been down right nearly violent it seems, certainly verbally violent. and then there was this moment last night. you're not hearing it a lot on the news but i wanted to play this for you because it stood out to at least me. take a look. >> our 44th president has many gifts and a beautiful family that would make any man proud. >> i particularly want to thank governor romney for joining me because i admire him very much as a family man and loving father and those are two titles that will always matter more than any political ones. >> both candidates got applause
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after their nice speeches and both got standing ovations, too. paul steinhauser, i just wanted to play that because i just exhaled after i saw it. i don't know if it was a employ, an effort to get the needle to turn or if it's these are two guys who are professional, who do like each other, who are just battling it out on the campaign field. >> did you like that? >> i did. >> done. i hope you enjoyed last night because that is probably it. you're not going to see these two men so nice to each other any time between now and election day. something else you won't see when they meet up for the final debate, they won't be wearing tuxedos and white ties. it was a good charitable moment for a worthy cause. both candidates getting ready for the final showdown on monday in florida. it's a debate on foreign policy.
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you'll see both men on the campaign trail today, the president in virginia, mitt romney in florida. otherwise they'll be under lock and key. the format, they'll be sitting around the table. the questions will come from the moderator, no audience. >> we're looking at polls very carefully, especially when it comes to the swing state. you've got some new polls? >> two polls that came out last night. take a look at these, this is from nbc/wall street journal. let's start with iowa. the president with an 8-point lead there. on this poll, this was conducted both before and after tuesday's presidential debate. so half before, half after. go to the next one, wisconsin. another important state, the state where paul ryan comes from, a 6-point advantage for
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the president there. this was conducted half before and half after. one thing from those polls, it indicates a gender gap with the president having a big advantage among women and mitt romney with an advantage among men. ashleigh? >> let's throw up that gallup daily tracking poll that has romney ahead by 7 points. it's important to look at those dates, right? >> which means it was conducted almost entirely before the debate. their numbers indicate a larger advantage for mitt romney than some other polls. but we look at all the poll, ashleigh. >> new ones are coming out. hey, paul, have a great weekend. thank you. >> thank you. >> and up get your rest, my friend, because on monday we're going to put you right back to work because look what's coming. the final dep presidential debate is on the way.
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monday our coverage starts 7:00 p.m. sharp live from boca raton, florida.
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two years after the earthquake the situation is still the same. the people are still under the tent. they don't have electricity. there is no security where they sleep. they are getting raped. in haiti things are very difficult. before the earthquake there were rapes happening. now i can say it is total disorder.
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>> daughters are not spared, mothers are not spared. even bears are not spared. i am a victim of sexual violence. i am on a mission to eradicate this issue so that other haitian women do not fall victim. we do awareness in the camps. we're working in 22 camps after the earthquake. now we are trying to work in others. we tell people to come out of silence. do not be afraid to say that you have been victimized. we offer psychological and legal support. we have a center, we accompany the victim to the hospital and
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we have a safe house program. for me the first thing is justice that i want. i was a victim and i did not find justice. but i know i will get it for other women that are victims. we have to fight so we can say what was said in the past, beloved haiti. this is a great mission. there will be a chance. [ ross ] in the taihang mountains of china, hand-carved on the side of a cliff is the guoliang tunnel.
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we're getting to that time where folks are making up their minds. just the other day, honey booboo endorsed me. that's a big relief. >> the remarks tonight are brought to you by the letter o
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and 16 trillion. >> both candidates poking a little fun at each other. this weekend, a big weekend for both of them. president is going to be at camp david. he'll be doing debate camp, debate prep. governor romney has the same weekend plans, except he'll be doing his prep in florida. wolf blitzer joins me now. this is the final debate so it really matters, maybe more so than the last two. in debate one it felt as though, correct me if i'm wrong, that the candidates were trying to appeal to the undecided voters. debate two it seemed they were trying to get to their base and get those people out to the polls. what's the mission of debate three, the final debate? >> if they can, they'd like to get their base, energize their base. turnout is going to be critically important on november 6th. a huge chunk of the country can vote early as well. turning out the base is going to be really important for the
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republicans and for the democrats. but, look, there's still a small but significant group of undecided voters or switchable voters throughout that could make the difference if it's really close and i suspect it will be really close in florida, for example, in hai or virginia or colorado. some of these dates will be really, really close. so they've got to do both. when the president of of the united states goes on a show like "the daily show" with jon stewart, that's mostly designed to get out the base. young people, they voted ov overwhelmi overwhelmingly for him four years ago, he wants to get them excited and make sure they show up to vote. it's not an easy task but they're working hard to do that. >> candy crowley was saying it's tremendous when you look at the real undecideds or uncommitted. some are truly up in the air but
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others can be swayed. when you boil it down to the ones that matter most, it's almost negligible and thus the import becomes just getting your base out and making sure those committed voters actually vote. but do you think that that will be the critical mission? is that what's going to turn -- this is such a close race, just a few people can make the difference as we saw in florida in 2000. >> about 500 people or so in florida in 2000, made a huge difference. remember, this third and final presidential debate is supposed to be strictly on foreign policy. i suspect both of these candidates will try to underscore economic issues and say if the united states is not economically strong, it will be weak internationally and they'll make the pivot to a certain degree, talk about issue number one in the united states, which is the economy and jobs and all of that and they'll have a little explanation why it's so important for america's national security to be economically
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strong, less dependent. for example, our loans from china, if you can reduce the budget deficit, stuff like that. by by and large it's going to be a debate, i suspect about libya, syria, iran, china, russia. these are the big issues out there on the international stage and i suspect that bob schaeffer, who is going to be the debate moderator monday night, will focus in on these major international issues. the war on terrorism, it's obviously a national security issue. >> bob schieffer better get out his kevlar today as he gets ready for monday. wolf, you're going to do the top coverage for us. i'm going to thank you now so can you get ready for your show and hopefully get a little rest. >> thank you. >> as a reminder, everybody, wolf and the team is converging monday night for this third and final presidential debate. it gets under way live from boca raton, florida. tune in at 7:00 eastern right here on cnf. [ woman ] it's 32 minutes to go time,
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and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well.
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although his sentencing was ten days ago, it looks like the jerry sandusky case is far from over. lawyers for the former penn state football coach are appealing his child sex abuse convictions. they want a whole new trial. they're arguing they deserve it because they weren't given enough time to prepare for such a high profile case with so many charges and so much information to go through. they're also saying that some of the charge themselves should never have been brought. they argue that the statute of limitations on those charges had run out. while most of sandusky's accused victims have stayed clear out of the public spotlight,
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18-year-old aaron fisher, who previously known to all of us was victim number one, has decided to come out, give us his name, and speak for the very first time. here's what he told abc news's "20/20" about just how hard this was to break his silence. >> you weren't able to say this guy is a monster, he is sexually assaulting me? >> i couldn't do it. >> why? >> embarrassment. fear of not being believed. victim means people feel sympathy for you. i don't want that. i would rather be somebody that did something good. >> aaron fisher wrote a book about the abuse, and it will be coming out next week. in the meantime, what chances does jerry sandusky actually have of prevailing in this appeal? might he actually get out of jail? you're going to find out some of the answers in just a moment. ts are the same. they're not.
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we mentioned before the break that lawyers for former penn state football coach jerry sandusky have decided to appeal the child sex abuse convictions that their clipt got in court. just ten days ago sandusky was sentenced to between 30 and 60 years in prison, but according to a new 31-page court filing, his lawyers want a brand new trial. they say the last one wasn't fair because they weren't gin enough time to prepare for it. this is high profile. defense attorney legal commentator joey jackson joins me now to talk about this. in all fairness, this was a seven-month process. >> it was. >> and there were, what, 52 original counts that jerry sandusky was facing. you're a lawyer. that is an enormous amount of material. the evidence, the reading, the documents, the thumb drives to thumb through. is that fair? >> here's what it comes down to.
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it comes down to the issue of reasonableness. he gets arrested in november. i further don't think in their motion, ashleigh, that it's meritorus to say that the conviction was against the weight of the evidence or there was legally insufficient evidence. what trial are they watching? i don't want to be too prosecutorial here, but certainly the evidence seems to be compelling. i don't think -- >> boy after boy after boy with the same m.o., many of them having never known each other prior to this. >> i don't think those arguments have any merit. further, they were talking about jury sequestration, the jury sh should have been see questered. maybe they were contaminated. >> by the way, this is a defense attorney who fought moving the trial into another jurisdiction. it was like apples. the strangeest dynamic that played out prior to trial.
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the prosecutors wanted to move this trial out, get a fresh jury pool. it was the defense that didn't want it. >> the only thing that i think might have merit in their argument is they're arguing about the statute of limitations as it relates, again, to child abuse and when charges can be filed. the law in pennsylvania was changed twice. in 2002 it was moved to say that you have 12 years after the 18th birthday of the victim. it was later amended. what the lawyers are arguing -- >> that's what -- what they're staying, ashleigh, is that you cannot retroactively apply that statute, and if the statute of limitations was up upon the charging of santa barbara dusky, then that should not apply? >> doesn't the law spell out whether you can retroactively spell out the -- >> they're making the argument that -- here the law pretty much clearly says that it doesn't apply retroactively. it applies to those people who are not statute of limitations
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out, so ultimately -- because it would otherwise be what we call an expose facto law. remember reading about that? >> you're so smart. >> not at all. not at all. >> i don't remember reading about expo facto. >> i think that's the best argument, but the other -- the whole argument, ashleigh, about, you know what, it's against this sentence from 30 to 60 years is cruel and unusual. he faced 442 years, ashleigh. the judge clearly went well below that, and that doesn't have merit either. >> the option -- the request for the defense to at least lower the number of years that he is facing because it's cruel, don't see it happening? >> not at all. don't see it happening at all. if there were errors made in the trial, was the outcome determinative? i don't think it was. it was harmless error. >> if he gets a new trial, does he get out on bail while he awaits the new trial? >> i think based on the nature of this offense, it would be tough for a judge to justify releg


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